Teen Driving Dangers and Safety Tips
It’s exciting to be able to help a teenager learn how to drive, but it’s also nerve-wracking to send them out on the road knowing that the lure of using cellphones behind the wheel is an ever-present temptation and a threat to teen driver safety. When it comes to driving, we all know that cellphone use while driving can be one of the biggest distractions.
In fact, as of April 2019, 17 states and the District of Columbia have banned talking on handheld cellphones while driving. So far, texting while driving, which is even more dangerous, is illegal in 47 states and the District of Columbia — and more will probably follow suit.
So, as your teen approaches driving age, we understand that a new set of worries will set in. Keep them at bay with classic techniques and modern apps!
5 teen driving safety tips to consider
Practice is key.
Teens need as much behind-the-wheel practice time as possible. The more familiar they are driving in traffic and with the rules of the road, the more confident they’ll become. It’s also important for teens to practice in different weather conditions so they instinctively know how to react to the varying road and visibility conditions adverse weather can bring.
Restrict the number of passengers in the car at any given time and maintain a strict no-cellphone use while driving rule. Discuss your teen driving safety rules in advance, and make sure your teen understands the consequences if he or she doesn’t comply.
There’s an app for that.
While your teen should know that cellphone use while driving is restricted, you can still use your cellphone to your advantage. Apps exist for everything — even keeping tabs on teen drivers. If you have a smartphone, visit your app store to search for the teen driving app that fits your needs. There are a variety of choices and features; there are basic programs that are free and more comprehensive options that require a minimal monthly fee.
Invest in tracking devices.
These in-car devices monitor speed and location. Some devices can even lock your teenager’s phone and limit its functions to emergency calls and permitted numbers while the vehicle is in gear.
To improve cell phone safety for teen drivers, there are multiple apps and devices that use Bluetooth® to allow drivers to complete calls, texts, and emails without taking their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.
A cellphone is an enticing distraction for any teen driver, but, as a parent, you can actually use one to improve teen driver safety and limit the distractions for your new driver. And, while hands-free options are helpful, there’s no substitute for simply focusing on the road!
Top 5 Teen Driving Dangers
After Connecticut Attorney and Teen Safety Advocate Timothy Hollister lost his son in a car accident, he wrote an open letter to teen drivers, outlining a way to remember top teen driving dangrs: P-A-C-T-S
Teen passengers can increase distractions and peer pressure to drive recklessly.
Alcohol and drugs
These substances slow reaction time, coordination and judgement, making risky situation worse.
Driving late at night or while tired increases the risk of a crash.
Texting while Driving
Using any electronic device to text, type, read, make a phone call, or watch a video puts the driver and passengers in great danger.
Of the 3,000-4,000 teens who die each year in crashes, as many as 50% are not wearing seatbelts.
Handing over the keys to the car can be scary for parents, especially when they are familiar with teen driving statistics. Help reduce the dangers of texting and driving, as well as other distractions, by reviewing this driving pledge with your teen.